Our Missioners in Heaven:
Sr. Agnes Soenneker, OSF - Previously in Venezuela
Sr. Agnes was a Franciscan Sister of Little Falls, MN. She previously served in Venezuela from 1974-1982 before passing away in 2007 at the age of 68.
Sr. Antonia Rausch, OSF - Previously in Africa
Sr. Antonia was a Franciscan Sister of Little Falls, MN. She previously served in Africa from 1986-1994, 1999-2001, 2002-2003 before passing away in 2017.
Sr. Beata Lorsung, OSF - Previously in Mexico
Sr. Beata was a Franciscan Sister of Little Falls, MN. She previously served in Mexico from 1985-1986 before passing away in 2007 at the age of 93.
Sr. Bertha Gerads, OSF - Previously in Ecuador
Sr. Bertha was a Franciscan Sister of Little Falls, MN. She previously served in Ecuador from 1994-2004 before passing away in 2006 at the age of 78.
Sr. Donna Zetah, OSF - Previously in Peru + Guatemala
Sr. Donna was a Franciscan Sister of Little Falls, MN. She previously served in Peru from 1969-1978 and Guatemala from 1993-1995 before passing away in 2018 at the age of 88.
Sr. Elizabeth Ohmann, OSF - Previously in Peru
Sr. Elizabeth was a Franciscan Sister of Little Falls, MN. She previously served in VPeru from 1967-1976 before passing away in 2014 at the age of 80.
Sr. Frances Kempenich, OSF - Previously in Peru
Sr. Frances was a Franciscan Sister of Little Falls, MN. She previously served in Peru from 1962-1969 before passing away in 2022 at the age of 97.
To read more about Fr. Kaiser, you can find more of her story in our newsletters. Look in Summer 2020.
Fr. John Kaiser, MHM - Previously in Kenya
Fr. John Kaiser was a Mill Hill Missionary priest from Maine, MN. He joined the Mill Hill Missionaries in 1960, being ordained a priest in 1964 before being sent to Kenya. He lived and ministered in Kenya for 36 years, before passing away from a gunshot would to the back of the head on August 24, 2000. While there are speculations, it is still unknown who killed him.
He was beloved by the Kenyan people, who called him “The Rhino,” because while he was peaceful, he would rise up and fight against injustices. Fr. Kaiser likewise loved the people of Kenya. He learned their language, ate their food, worked with them, and ministered to them. He had a great love for the poor and those affected by injustice. He fought for justice for the Kenyan people, advocating for equality of all Kenyans regardless of ethnic, economic, and political boundaries. This work led to him receiving Kenya’s Human Rights Award in March 2000, just five months before his death. He is greatly missed both here and in Kenya.
Fr. Linus Doerner - Previously in Chile
Fr. Linus was born in 1934 in St. Cloud, MN, entered Gethsemani in 1953, and made his solemn profession in 1958. He was ordained a priest in 1962, and was sent to La Dehesa, (Miraflores, Chile) in 1968 where he made his stable vows in 1972. Fr. Linus was titular Superior of the community from 1986 until 2004. When he passed away in 2022, he was 88 years old, a professed monastic for 67 years and 60 years a priest.
His deepest desire was to give his life for his friend. The impression he gave others was a man of deep peace, humility, wisdom, holiness, and love. Those who knew him felt incredibly honored and blessed.
Taken from a note written by Rosanne Fischer in our Spring 2023 newsletter.
Sr. Marcella Schuller, OSF - Previously in Vietnam
Sr. Marcella was a Franciscan Sister of Little Falls, MN. She previously served in Vietnam from 1968-1971 before passing away in 2012.
Sr. Maristell Schanen, OSF - Previously in Yemen + Africa
Sr. Maristell was a Franciscan Sister of Little Falls, MN. She previously served in Yemen from 1974-1980 and Africa from 1990-2001 before passing away in 2012.
Sr. Mary Mercita Pipp, OSF - Previously in Colombia
Sr. Mary Mercita was a Franciscan Sister of Little Falls, MN. She previously served in Colombia from 1967-1978 before passing away in 2019 at the age of 94.
Bishop Paride Taban - South Sudan
Bishop Taban served in South Sudan, and was someone who though not from the St. Cloud Diocese, had been connected with us for many years. He sadly passed away on November 1st, 2023 at the age of 87. He was a remarkable peacemaker, spiritual leader, and humanitarian who did great work in Sudan. A little about his mission work.
South Sudan is the newest country in the world, officially becoming its own country on July 9, 2011 after a referendum that passed to secede from the nation of Sudan, following over 20 years of civil war and unrest. Bishop Paride Taban was the Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Torit, and founder of the Holy Trinity Peace Village in Kuron, South Sudan. A place that works to bring young people of different ethnic groups together for everything from education to prayer to playing soccer. He helped run this village and advocated for peace and reconciliation throughout the world, including assisting with mediation in other global conflicts.
He was the recipient of many awards for his decades of peace-building efforts, including winning the Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith Cooperation, being nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, and being in the top three for the Opus Award of $1 million dollars in 2023.
Sr. Ramona Johnson, OSF - Previously in Peru + Mexico
Sr. Ramona was a Franciscan Sister of Little Falls, MN. She previously served in Peru from 1964-1972 and Mexico from 1988-1992 before passing away in 2008 at the age of 78.
Sr. Ruth Ann Nistler, OSF - Previously in Peru + Venezuela
Sr. Ruth Ann was a Franciscan Sister of Little Falls, MN. She previously served in Peru from 1966-1967 and Venezuela from 1967-1971 before passing away in 2013 at the age of 81.
Sr. Sheila Mortonson, OSF - Previously in Italy, Egypt, + Belgium
Sr. Sheila was a Franciscan Sister of Little Falls, MN. She previously served in Italy from 1966-1970, Egypt from 1970-1971, and Belgium from 1973-1981 before passing away in 2008 at the age of 92.
Fr. Teddy Niehaus - Previously in Nicaragua
Fr. Teddy Niehaus was a Capuchin Franciscan priest from Sauk Centre, MN. He was ordained in 1967 and proceeded to spend his entire priesthood in Nicaragua. After over 45 years of serving the Nicaraguan people, Fr. Teddy passed away in 2014 at the age of 75.
He was beloved by the people he ministered to. Many felt he was secretly just like St. Francis himself. He lived the Franciscan spirit, and a sincere, authentic, and dedicated life in the name of service. As Monica Rudawski wrote, “I’m afraid Fr. Teddy’s boots are much too big for us to step into, but his footprints are everywhere for us to follow, leading us on his holy trail, where people beg to be ministered to, where our own spirits yearn for a long drink of water alongside our sisters and brothers. There is a deep ache in the hearts of the people here in Nicaragua, as Teddy’s absence falls heavily upon us all. The sheep have lost their shepherd.” His calling to Mission was a joy that energized him and those around him. He left behind a deep and wide legacy and is greatly missed by many.